Saturday, 19 February 2011

Lost People, Not Dogs

Well, "The Beags" and I just finished one of our lengthy weekend excursions. We scuttle about 5-6 miles in one morning, which is a good amount of mileage for both of us. I'm aiming to do that at least a couple of times a week, which will be good for both the pup and for me.

As we embarked (no "bark" related pun intended) on our little promenade, I noticed a few handwritten flyers tacked up on trees and telephone line posts (what are those things officially called anyway?) that read "Lost Dog: Miniature Doberman Pinscher" in big, swooping, wobbly text. My first thought was to judge: "Well, if people followed the rules and kept their dogs on leashes in urban areas," I thought. "then they wouldn't be crying now." Many of the people in my neighborhood must not be big Googlers or readers of City Ordinances or even the "Dos and Don'ts of Pet Ownership" manuals that litter pet shops, veterinary offices and the like--so many of them do things like let dogs off of the leash or allow animals to defecate anywhere without cleaning it up.

I tried to imagine the scenario during which this dog lost his home. No doubt, the owners took the poor little thing outside, sans leash, and it saw something: a squirrel, a cat, perhaps, or maybe another dog. Its fierce instincts overtook its devotion to its family and it shot off like a greased bullet, leaving a family of crying, obese children behind. A sad, but all-too-common scene in America today: ignorance and greed resulting in sadness and confusion. I felt really sorry for that little dog.

As I was lost in my daydream, a car slowed alongside us and a middle-aged man called out, "Excuse me, Miss?" Oh boy, I thought. What's it going to be now? Is he going to ask me for directions? Hit on me? I just wanted to be in my head and to walk this morning, uninterrupted.

"I don't know if I talked to you before," he started out. "But I lost my dog around here and I've been trying to find her. You may have noticed the flyers that I've posted."

"Yeah, I have," I motioned my head toward the next post, where one of his flyers was plastered.

"Well, she was hit by a car, and she just took off running. I've looked everywhere. She wasn't hurt because she ran off," he explained.

I couldn't help but rage inside of my head. Well, if you'd kept your dog on a leash like you're supposed to, she wouldn't have run out into the street, I thought. And I also knew that the dog could have experienced internal injuries after being hit by a car, but was in such shock at the time, that she took off yelping. Not good.

"I know that a lot of people in this neighborhood are allowed to have dogs," he continued. "So, I've been looking for people walking dogs that look like mine. I'll call her name when I see them on the street."

So, he thinks someone stole his dog, eh?

"I'll keep an eye out," I told him. But, honestly, if I see someone else walking your dog ON A LEASH, I'll probably smile at them and walk on by.

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